The fortified city of Dura-Europos, located in modern-day Syria, stood on the west bank of the Euphrates River and served as the furthest military outpost in the Roman Near East. Founded as a Hellenistic settlement, the city was the object of near-constant border disputes between the Romans and the great imperial powers of the East, the Parthians and the Sasanians.
The current exhibit presents a multi-disciplinary study of one of the site’s most unique artifacts and one of archaeology’s rarest finds—a wooden Roman shield painted with scenes from the Trojan War. Drawing on a collaboration among art historians, classicists, conservation scientists, curators, historians, objects conservators, and paintings conservators, the exhibit analyzes the shield in terms of its function, materials, and iconography, while also considering the afterlife of Dura-Europos, its rediscovery in the early twentieth century, and its fate amidst the current Syrian political upheaval.
The exhibit is curated by Sarah Norvell, Yale College Class of 2015, as the culmination of a yearlong Frank Goodyear Curatorial Fellowship in the Department of Ancient Art at the Yale University Art Gallery.
This exhibit is a collaboration with the Ancient Art and Conservation Departments of the Yale University Art Gallery and the Yale Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage.